Here! There! Everywhere!

OH HELLO! It’s June! How did that happen?! There’s so much going on. Let’s run it down in no particular order because my brain’s all over the place.

The gang is back together! Edwin, Edgar and I are in the midst of building a large-and-in-charge wraparound front porch on a circa-1900 house in Kingston! Perhaps I should say rebuilding, since the porch was demolished long ago. So we’re constructing a close resemblance of the original porch, based on the bits of information we have—a few photos, dimensions from old tax assessment records, and the few pieces of the original porch that remained. It’s a big huge project that’s been in the works for a couple of YEARS now, so it’s super exciting that it’s finally happening. It’s also daunting! Partially because it’s HUGE at almost 800 square feet, and partially because it’s a significant addition that will completely change the appearance of this old house and I have to make it look right and like it’s always been there! Part of my job is keeping everyone occupied and PAID, so aside from this big project I’ve also been hustling my ass around town on a bunch of smaller projects that the guys can hit when it rains, or a product order is late, or whatever. It’s kinda a lot to manage.

Let me tell you a story! Last summer, I reluctantly dove into the waters of Instagram Stories while we were working on a different house just outside of Kingston. Admittedly, I’m an extremely rare story-watcher, but evidently I’m a semi-prolific story-maker. It’s fun! It’s easy! As we know by now, as much as I like to write, I frequently struggle with actually having the time to dedicate entire blog posts to stuff that I plan to dedicate entire blog posts to while they’re happening, so Instagram Stories have been a nice alternate way to document things in real time. If you’re not following me already, first of all get your life together, and second of all go find me @DanielKanter. Then just keep an eye out for new posts, I guess! I try to archive the more relevant bits into the Highlights feature at the top of my profile, if you need to catch up a little on the aforementioned porch project.

What’s that you say? A different house outside of Kingston? Yeah! I guess if you don’t follow me on Instagram, you wouldn’t have a way of knowing about the cool quirky old farmhouse the guys and I renovated last summer/fall/winter! Honestly it was another doozy—not quite Olivebridge proportions, but still managed to go from a couple changes and a bunch of sprucing up to a top-to-bottom overhaul of…everything? 2 bathrooms! Kitchen! Laundry! All the rooms! The whole outside! Mechanicals! The bulk of the work ended in February but I just did a final install last week. I have to go back and photograph it but it’s nice to have this 8-week-turned-8-month project off my plate a bit.

Speaking of Olivebridge. If you read even one of those tumultuous posts about the Olivebridge house, I owe you some resolution. We don’t have to get into all the mostly-stupid reasons that hasn’t yet come to pass, but I haven’t forgotten. Honestly the fact that I haven’t blogged about it makes me feel like the book is still open on that project—in spite of the house’s successful completion!—and that feeling sucks so it’s high time to get my shit together on that front. MAYBE IT COULD ACTUALLY BE FUN! At the very least I think it will really and truly feel finished in terms of big life events I’d never want to repeat. Ha!

5 years! So I didn’t even think about it until the day after, but Friday marked the five year anniversary of owning my house! What a journey we’ve been on, this house and I. I still love it. I’m still overwhelmed by it. There are still parts of it I haven’t tackled and a lot of other parts in some stage of progress, but (knock on ALL the wood) I think the worst of the renovation is pretty much over and that feels GOOD. The past 2 years or so were particularly rocky, but it’s finally started to feel like a real home again—my home—and I’m more grateful than ever that I get to call this special house mine.

Laundry! Kitchen! Anticipating that this summer would be exactly as crazy as it’s shaping up to be, I set some concrete goals for myself and my renovation for the first four months of the year. We can talk about this more later, but experience is a valuable thing—and it’s taught me that working on multiple major renovation projects at different properties at the same time is a recipe for inefficiency and frazzled-ness and general misery, but I also obviously can’t just work on my own house all the time. So, I try to give myself a little time between client projects to re-focus on my own stuff and get as much done as I can. May 1st became the goal for having a functioning laundry room, a functioning kitchen, and doing some MAJOR clean-up and space-reclamation everywhere else once the first two items were accomplished and there’d be a bit more room to spread out. I DID IT! Having laundry again is amazing and having it on the second floor lights up my life. The kitchen is FAR from complete, but IT HAS WALLS and electric and plumbing—enough to hook up a sink, move in a few of my old cabinets, and start using the space again AS A KITCHEN for the first time in almost 2 years. And now that my dining room isn’t also a kitchen, and my living room isn’t also an enormous glorified dog kennel, I spent a weekend just rearranging my own shit for hours and now those two rooms look and feel so much better than they have in a LONG TIME. I even had two friends over for dinner! Like I said—still a ton to do, but getting to this point of basic usability feels huge.

So interior progress at my house will slow, but hopefully exterior work will continue. There’s a lot to do on the outside of my house—between gardening on the street-facing sides (and just maintaining what I have!), finally putting the finishing touches on the major exterior work that started last summer and the one before, and trying to get SOMETHING good going on in the backyard, I hope I can bang it out in my “free time” before fall/winter hits again. I’ve already decided that this summer I’m going to skip tearing off more vinyl siding in favor of just polishing off what’s already started—I can’t stand all the loose ends out there right now.

I have a major itch to landscape. Or hardscape maybe, more specifically? Getting the backyard just to square one was so labor-intensive and expensive that gathering the motivation (or setting aside the time, with the house itself needing so much attention!) to do much else with it has been tough. I’ve done two things that helped get my ass in gear, though: first, I asked a friend with a great garden to help me prioritize and plan and make a few decisions. FRIENDS! THEY’RE SO HELPFUL! Second, the Brinson’s invited me last minute to the Trade Secrets garden show in Connecticut, where we toured 3 amazing gardens including living legend Bunny Williams’ property, which I really just need to do a photo-dump kind of blog post about because it was so insanely good. Going to see this stuff IN MY CLIMATE (“omg, I can actually grow that too!!!”) was really valuable and the whole thing was for-real inspiring. Like I literally got home and began construction on a dry-stacked bluestone wall because I just had to get my inspo-overload ya-yas out somehow.

But don’t get carried away about my house, because there’s still Bluestone CottageI feel I owe a longer explanation about this than I want to get into right this instant, but long and short of it is—I MUST finish that house. Personally, professionally, emotionally, physically, financially—it needs to happen. I think I successfully enlisted an electrician last week, and the plumber has finally (sort of) reemerged after beginning the rough-in a YEAR ago, and my own living situation is finally back out of complete shambles, and life will go on and the house will get done and then I can stop feeling shitty about bad decisions I made when I was younger and dumber. Well, at least one of them.

Mekko is the best dog. We’ve also been dealing with some health stuff over the past few months, requiring visits to vet offices in 3 different states and a whole lotta money. It’s certainly not good but seems to be surmountable (yay!), and it’s been stressful and expensive and basically I’m trying to not freak out. I lost one dog 7 months ago. I refuse to entertain that this could resolve any way other than completely fine and she’ll go on to be the longest-living dog on record and then I’ll clone her. So anyway. That’s been awful, no lie, but could be way worse. Surgery, again, this Friday. Sigh.

I’ve bought some stuff. You know, since the last time I showed you some stuff I bought. I like pretty old stuff.

So that’s basically what’s up in my little corner of the world. What’s up in your little corner of the world? Do we want to hear about any of the above items in particular more than others? Watched any good TV lately?


64 Comments

  1. You have so much energy and talent. I wish you could send some my way. I love your blog. Thanks for continuing to share.

    • Thank you, Ursula! I appreciate that you think that, even if I’m feeling a little low in the energy/talent departments, haha! :)

  2. Always nice to read a new post from you Daniel. If I had to prioritize what I’d like you to write about it would be 1) Olivebridge – because closure, 2) Bluestone – because it’s been so long and it was really interesting how modest a house and budget you had, 3) your house/yard. Best wishes for Mekko. I feel the same way about my pets. May they all live forever. I’m watching The Crown on Netflix. I like it, but I currently live in Crete and really don’t have access to the latest and greatest of streaming media, so I’m probably not the best source.

    • I second “The Crown”! I finished the two seasons that are out so far, and really liked it.

    • I second this.

      I’m also nosy and concerned about Mekko. please keep us posted if you can. Hugs and prayers.

      • I have to really give The Crown a shot! I started it, but I’m usually so tired by the time I turn on the TV that I fall asleep if the show is on the more slow-moving side, and I just never tried to pick it back up. It does look excellent, though!

  3. Holy cow. I never doubted that you were super busy, but man. You are BUSY.

    Rather than asking us what we want to hear about first, for your sanity, I think it might be nice if you posted on the things you have already finished that aren’t Olivebridge. Like the farmhouse, the rearrangement of your dining/living room, and/or the progress in your kitchen. Seems like a good time to spend several hours reveling in what you have done rather than focusing on what you plan to do or need to do.

    Also, I get why you haven’t posted about Olivebridge. Several years ago, I was battling serious health problems and we also put on this super stressful, labor-intensive event at one of my jobs. The work was so bad that it aggravated my health issues and kicked off these super super super super super super super painful abdominal and pelvic muscle cramps that are still among the worst experiences in my life. A couple months of that, and I couldn’t even think about that event afterwards without feeling panicky. It took me seven months to submit my invoice because I couldn’t face itemizing what I’d done on that job. It would have required too much thinking about it.

    • JILL!!!! Thank you for that comment. You DO get it! And that makes me feel better, thank you thank you. Hopefully it’s gotten easier for you as time has passed, or at least the part of getting paid after facing the big bad invoice (TOTES BEEN THERE!) felt good! At this point the immediate-panic-sick-to-my-stomach-thing has passed, mostly, but I think I’ve kind of been waiting for a moment when I’d be PSYCHED and motivated to rehash it all, and I think I’ve realized that’s just not going to happen. But that also doesn’t mean that sharing it can’t be fun, or at least productive, and—as with most writing—much of the reward is in having done it!

      • Oh, yes, the sick-to-the-stomach feeling! That is exactly it! I will say that it’s been about five years since that time in my life, and I can now 100% think about that event without panicking. So you have that to look forward to. Mostly because your memory gets way less sharp after a certain point. You think, “Man, that sucked” instead of, “These are the 47,000 specific reasons why that sucked.”

        Alas, it may be asking for too much to one day feel psyched and delighted to rehash the event. But I think you can count on the fact that, at some point, rehashing it won’t feel like a mental bludgeoning?

        Yay?

  4. I love when your brain just rambles through a post like this. Hooray for all the updates! (I also learned that I apparently need to follow you immediately on IG since AHH NEW HOUSE I knew nothing about. And it looks beautiful.)

    Sending all the good vibes I can possibly muster to you and your pup.

    Random intriguing/odd/dark/twisty show I just started watching – Picnic at Hanging Rock (on Amazon Prime). I’m halfway through the miniseries and I am definitely hooked.

    So looking forward to more updates as they come – Olivebridge, Bluestone, the yard, the laundry/kitchen … all the things. But I mean, in your own time, don’t stress getting them all out to us immediately. We all know you’re worth the wait. :)

    • Ohhhhh, I’ll have to look up that show! Intriguing/odd/dark/twisty is usually where you can find me!

      (and thank you! see ya on the ‘gram!)

  5. I love your posts. I am having some serious porch envy here. Want to come to central Virginia? Trying to find competent remodelers here is not for the faint of heart. One month ago today I lost by beloved dog Whitley to auto immune hemolytic anemia and thrombocytopenia (no platelets). Healthy as can be until one day she wasn’t and despite a good and expensive fight we lost her. I so hope to see your Mekko make it so let us know how the surgery goes.
    Love the color of the bathroom wall and your treatment of it. Always nice to read any of your posts. Thanks for keeping it real.

    • I’m so sorry about your loss, Charisse. It’s always awful, but when it’s sudden like that it’s even worse. All the best to you guys. <3 <3

      • I second that you should come to central Virginia! Universe, make someone pay Daniel to come to central VA. I’m currently considering buying a 1920s farmhouse that has as a back wall the remains of a 300 year old house with the old ghost of a chimney in it. You, like me, would be obsessed with it. Currently it has no interior walls or floors. MINOR DETAILS!

        Also, lots of love to you and Mekko from me and my tripod pittie.

  6. Aloha Daniel, While you were at a garden show finding out secrets and seeing the Ah-mazing Bunny Williams gardens- I was in the Pacific Ocean seeing beautiful green sea turtles and fishes. May was a wonderful month. I really enjoy your blog posts- on everything you choose to write!! You’re a great writer and story teller!! Hope Mekko’s surgery goes well and recovery is speedy.

    • Sea turtles!! Well that is wonderful! And thank you—hoping for a speedy recovery too!! The first surgery took 3x as long to heal as expected and keeping this crazy girl calm was a job unto itself!

  7. Finally caught up on Outlander in our house in between projects. Our garage to Daughter Suite is nearly complete (needs HVAC) which means I have no lower cabinets in my kitchen (because they’re in the new craft area in the suite). Our new custom-sized-to-replace-original-standard-size-Anderson glass slider in the breakfast area has finally arrived at the warehouse…now I just need to see the contractor’s install it! Oh, and the attic fan that wasn’t connected had the wires cut 15 feet from the unit. When they put the new one in…arcs and sparks everywhere! So I still don’t have an attic fan. And hey, it’s only three grand more to replace the whole house AC (2600 sq ft) than it is to just hvac the new suite. Since the whole house unit is from 1994 and unashamedly running on wishes, time to replace. But hey, I’m getting a digital display on my thermostat. (It feel great to hear your fun to keep us on pace too…it’s ok that the living room is full of everything from my lower kitchen cabinets, right?) :)

    • I’ve never even HEARD of Outlander! But it looks like it involved spies, so therefore I’m in.

      And oh man, you’re in the middle of it! Those “while we’re at it, we might as well…” decisions can make a person crazy! Stay strong! And yes, the fact that the lower cabinet contents are safely one room is a victory—don’t sweat it!!!

  8. Love seeing a new post from you, as always! I know it’s much easier not to write full blog posts but I’m glad you pop back in here every once in a while to give us an update, as I find myself missing actual blog reading more and more these days. It’s just nice to sit down with a coffee on a lunch break or before work and read without getting distracted by other things on social media, or email notifications for work popping up.

    Hope Mekko’s surgery goes well, and I can’t wait to see what you do with your garden!

  9. I’m all about the garden! Every time you show your garden I give my own garden a lot of side eye. Ha! I’m sending all my positive vibes for Mekko! <3

  10. I love seeing blog posts from you. It just makes me happy. :)
    I willingly admit to being an Instagram stories fan. And reading your blog posts now that I can hear your voice in my head is even better! You’re always entertaining and I love that you have so many segments to your stories. I hate it when I watch people who only have one or two. It feels like a waste of time.

    I just binge watched Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (on Amazon Prime) this weekend because it was cold and dreary here. Such a great show! I even watched all the way through the credits at the end because the music was so great each time.
    All the best to Mekko! And so much love!!!

    • Thank you, B! Hearing my own voice is a special kind of torture in my opinion, so I’m flattered/relieved that it isn’t completely disqualifying for people, haha! :)

      I should really give that show another shot. I think I started the first episode and wasn’t immediately into it so I moved on, but I’ve heard how great it is from so many people!

      • I second Marvelous Mrs. Maisel! And like you, I wasn’t sold right away. I was actually pretty irritated with it until Midge took her top off (I know, I know), but it got better after that and I marathoned the rest of the season!

  11. Best wishes to Mekko and you as her support and caregiver! I know how hard and costly it is.
    Show me the newest old stuff you bought!

  12. so glad to read that newsy post.
    my news is no buying house but found a great rental in a fabulous secret neighborhood. second floor of a two family house- but needs needed lots of work and is challenging because there is no storage – no cabinets in the kitchen, two narrow shelves high up in the pantry, closets built for mice clothes and no bathroom cabinets either. but big rooms and a front porch with a view of the river and a working fireplace.
    sad news is no viable garden space – long story but a promise had been made (oh you can garden anywhere you want) and then was reneged upon (well only between the two garages ) after i dug up and moved all the plants from my other 12 yo garden… so am sadly giving away all things large that require sun (well most of them) and since the space between the garages is 90% shade (not quite the place for camellias or lilacs or many other things) – so if i do anything it will be a purely planter garden of ferns and hostas and whatever vines i can get to grow.
    i had forgotten how disrupting a move is (last one was 12 years ago oy vey).
    not much tv cause every night and all weekend (that ole job takes up weekdays dont you know) am sorting out solutions and implementing them. . lots of tennis with the French Open and a few brit shows.

    • best wishes with the impending surgery (and all that goes with that kind of situation in the aftermath)

    • I’m, like, unreasonably broken up about your garden! You worked so hard and it was so beautiful!!! No!!! I’m sure you’ll make the new space amazing but I’m sad that happened. Do any of your old plants want to retire in Kingston?! Hopefully the garden situation aside, the new place a good change. It sounds awesome!

    • Awww, I’m so sorry about your garden!

      Do you have Netflix? You might like Monty Don’s “Big Dreams, Small Spaces.” I want to be him and give such wise, well-considered advice when I grow up!

      • I love that show! If you like that try LOVE YOUr GARDen also on Netflix

  13. Always enjoy your posts. Would love to see the laundry and kitchen at this point. And of course, Bluestone. I imagine you;’ll post Olivebridge when you feel ready. I don’t care what you post, just post.

  14. Daniel I want to hear about every single topic you mentioned! Each one needs it own blog post! Gah, I’m so excited about all the different house projects you’ve been doing, I can’t wait to hear every last detail and see a billion more photos. xx

  15. You’ve been so busy again Daniel, don’t forget to breathe ;). I hope all your hard work pays off, your projects will never cease to amaze me. Take care of yourself and Mekko <3

    • Also I just made an offer on a house and I need to sell an apartment and my house within a year or I’ll be broke forever. It’s a total gut job, 1960’s mid-century vibe with asbestos siding. kill me now. Please.
      Also, penguins, just sayin ;)

      • Don’t panic about the asbestos siding until you get all your quotes in. I live in southeast MA and thought removing asbestos cement from our 2400 square foot Folk Victorian would kill us. We were very pleasantly surprised to find a company that only took 20% of our reno budget :-P. But really, it was totally worth it. I’m sure that it immediately increased that value of our house. Good luck with all of your things!

      • hi Doorot,
        congrats on house offer – and I actually got a bit of a break on homeowner insurance with my asbestos cement shingle siding…the fireproofing, ya know?

  16. Sending healing energy to Mekko. I know what it’s like when the companion of your heart isn’t well.

  17. Love your posts and your enthusiasm. I can’t believe how many houses you are working on at once! Can’t wait to read all about them (when Mekko is all better). Your style is fabulous. Kingston is lucky to have you and your vision of renovation living there.

  18. Daniel,

    Such a wonderful post! Lots going on I see! I hear you on a lot of this, my life at the moment is in shambles as my job ends in 2 weeks, no money put away to live off on for a few months since my rent in my old apartment was at about 70% of my income by the time I bought the house in 2016 and will have to likely do the temp and unemployment thang while we look, that is my best buddy and I and some help of family and friends.

    While not as busy as you, I do what I can to keep the place up and picked up but did get the hall painted but not blogged that as yet and it’s still not finished as in no art hung, the track light put up, stuff like that. At least my house is functional, though not all that organized in some areas as I’m still getting things sorted and filed etc.

    So it’s been a rough 2 years financially as I rob Peter to pay Paul to get the bills paid while the mortgage has been paid every month no matter what, and no, it’s maybe 40% of my entire budget at the moment, but extra debt had to occur during the house hunt as rents rose in Seattle and had to look elsewhere as house prices also rose. I also commute paying some of the highest gas prices in the nation at the moment and my commute is 1.5 hours each way during rush hour when it’s usually 45 minutes or so for a measly 38 mile drive. So we also have some of the worst traffic in the nation.

    Would love to have some help getting my sad little front porch rebuilt. I did denute it of the rotting OSB literally the next morning after I moved in and chopped down 2 arborvitae trees that were one, two close to the house, and two, too tall and blocked both front bedroom windows 2 months later.

    I’m fortunate I don’t have to do much to get the yard in shape as it’s not all that bad, the grass is slowly losing its dandelions, but needs thatching etc and over seeded in the front, the slope on the side yard needs to be removed of sod and flower bed put in as it’s a bitch to mow currently but that’s not critical at this juncture. In the meantime, the place looks like a reasonably kept little house in a working class neighborhood and I’m fine with that.

    The big thing was getting the kitchen to a functional level on a budget so I can cook in it as it had NO counter next to the stove so bought a Rimforsa island from IKEA to remedy that and it’s exactly what the doctor ordered and a used dishwasher helps greatly too in the cleanup.

    Meanwhile, good luck with Mekko and her surgery and her recovery. May she recover and continue to live for some years longer.

    DO take care of yourself and keep us posted on stuff! Glad you love your house even though it’s been requiring SO much of you!

  19. Hey Daniel, just think of all this work as a school. You are in school. And one day all these things will not be so hard any more and people will trust and hire you because you know about this stuff because you went to school back in the day.
    As for pets, as much as I love them, I see them as partly natural and I try to let them “run their course” as it were, so we have them neutered and spayed etc but no chemo for our babies if it turns out they have cancer f.i. (we do have them operated on for this of course). We give them healthy quality food and almost all of them live to an old age for their breed and type of animal. I do notice how the vet has become a place where peoples neuroses about their pets is fostered. And it all costs (a lot of) money if you entertain every worry and fear. There will be a new dog or cat in due time and they will be equally wonderful in their own way. We lost two kittens who didn’t come home any more (despite being chipped) last week our daughter said, “It’s time for a new cat.” Her heart really has been broken for a long time over these kittens (they were born in our house on the night of her birthday believe it or not).
    Things will get better and easier and there will be new pets to love and new friends to enjoy spending time with, new places to see, it is the nature of life to change and evolve.
    It’s a heartbreaking thing, living.

  20. Oh my goodness – the gang is back! This makes me happy. Your posts make me happy. Your renos make me happy. Thanks for taking the time to share!

  21. Daniel, thanks for posting bits of your projects. Every photo invited more questions. 1st sorry that Mekko is ailing.
    Love the mini gazing ball on your repurposed light fixture, sorry I was distracted for a moment.
    Post what you feel up to posting. I will read anything that you write. I am all for closure but on your own timeline. I may give Instagram a try. BTW, I am currently watching TURN on Netflix about George Washington’s spies in Revolutionary times.

  22. My parents have a large wrap-around front porch and I think I lived out there most of the time growing up. All of our family and guests love to lounge out there hang out; you will not regret the porch ever…well, unless it’s time to repaint the railing (Use the thick floor paint on the spindles/railing too if you’re not staining; it lasts significantly longer and provides better coverage). I can’t wait to see it and all of your projects!

  23. I want to read all the posts, however you want to write them haha. I loved the comments on your post about drywall, just because it’s true, you could write about something that’s generally regarded as boring and I devoured every. last. word. Now life. My boyfriend and I are tackling a bunch of small projects so that I can convince him that renovating is not scary. He wants to buy a huge house on a fixer upper budget and well, that means that we gotta buy a fixer! I refer back to your posts often while we are doing projects, because I like the way that you write and explain things–your posts always make me feel like I was there with you!

  24. I just get so excited to see a new blog post from you! I loved all the info dump in this one. Looking forward to the Olivebridge post when you feel up to it. I totally get not being able to revisit something that was so painful. If you’re looking for a fascinating watch, check out “wild wild country” on netflix. One of the MOST fascinating documentaries I’ve ever watched. I went back and forth continually, within the same episode often, as to whose side I was on. It’s a kick.

    You are really amazing. I wish for you and Mekko all the good things.

  25. So 2 things and 1 question:

    Things:
    1. I want to hear about everything
    2. I just started watching Amazon’s miniseries of Picnic at Hanging Rock (because I love Natalie Dormer) and is is so intriguing, spooky and ethereal. It’s 1900 Australia and three girls from a local school disappear into the bush.

    Question:
    Are you working with Edwin and them now? what is your non-blog job?

  26. You should watch the first episode of Anne with an e – not because you’ll love the show (although I do!) but the locations and her house are dreamy!

  27. I love that you are instastory-ing! So much fun to hear your voice and personality. Truth be told I love it when I see you have posted a blog post… I love it all. Do it all.

    Huge hugs to you and Meeko!

  28. I’ve been loving the Instastories and want to find out what happened in the library in that last house! What color did you end up painting it, did I miss it? Apparently I need to watch Picnic at Hanging Rock because it sounds just up my alley. For some reason I though you had done a wrap up post on Olivebridge but maybe it was a close to completion post? i’d love to hear about Bluestone and if you want to share about all the bad things as well as what’s been getting done. Your house updates are always special and 5 years is nothing for all that has been done so far.

    We’ll wait. It will be worth it. (but it would be great if you keep up with the instastories :) )

  29. First, can we talk about the floor lamp in the corner of your dining room? (Dining room is looking great, btw.) Second, been loving watching that porch come to life in your instastories! I get so excited when your face pops up with a new one. Third, just finished watching Halt and Catch Fire on Netflix and am already itching to rewatch it. Definitely worth sticking it out through the uneven first season.

  30. All best wishes for healing and speedy recovery to Mekko (and you).
    Will happily devour what you are willing and able to share, thank you for doing that. It’s a joy to read your posts and follow your many paths.

  31. I really love your upbeat posts. It sounds like you are getting over the hill. You are definitely a pro now, with your own company! Soon, you’ll be famous. At our house we started converting our screen porch into a sunroom. It took almost one full year and we had a national company working on it. So many complications and then the finishing details took forever. I certainly got a better idea of how remodeling one area of your house messes up everything else. I like surfing movies, a lot. I have never surfed but it is so amazingly scary to me. Riding Giants is one of my favorites. I do not care if I ever see another post about O-bridge again. That house needed a bulldozer! But, your house is going to be amazing. The dining room is stunning. I want to hear all about that. And, I hope that Mekko sails through her operation and gets well quickly.

  32. Best wishes to you and Mekko. May you be looking at this tough time in the rearview mirror very soon. Snuggle up with her and watch The OA on Netflix. Think of it as a very long film broken up into chapters, so no episode is the same length. It’s a stunning piece of story-telling.

  33. I love the aesthetic of the farmhouse bathroom and your dining room. There’s a sense of space and simplicity without any emptiness or coldness.

    I aspire.

    That’s all.

  34. I have been obsessed with Great Interior Design Challenge. Maybe it hits too close to home for you, but I can’t get enough!

    As always, love your posts and love to read about any single thing you feel like talking about. xoxo

  35. As an addicted Instagram story-watcher but extremely rare story-maker… I’m grateful for people like you! We balance each other out! Haha.

    Hugs to sweet Mekko… man, we lost both of our dogs (one shockingly and it was unspeakably horrible, the other was 14 so it was less unexpected but still rough) about 7 months apart within the last year and it was pretty much the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. So glad the issues are looking surmountable. Hope she’s back in tip-top shape soon! Love you, Mekko!!!

    Looking forward to hearing the Olivebridge wrap-up (but uh, no rush) and also seeing what happens with Bluestone Cottage! Pretty much I love looking at everything you do. I agree with whoever said you have an amazing amount of energy and talent… I LOL’d at the going home and starting a dry-stacked bluestone wall because you are amazing and have so much more energy and motivation than I do. Haha! You inspire me!

  36. Write anything you want Daniel – anything!
    Sending good vibrations to Mekko :(
    TV:
    The Handmaid’s Tale
    The Americans (RIP Americans just wrapped up seventh and last series)
    Patrick Melrose

  37. In no particular order, the crown (Netflix), Versailles (Netflix), Victoria (PBS through prime), Bosch (Prime), Mindhunters (Netflix).

    Keep up the good work. I don’t know how many times I’ve told my husband about the guy with the house in Kingston lol

  38. An 800-sq-ft porch? Our first house was 800 sq ft. Keep us posted on all your adventures. I love reading about them.

  39. Wow – great progress on so many fronts! I can’t wait to see the final restored / rebuilt wraparound porch!
    Sending healing wishes for Mekko.

  40. Daniel,
    I’ve been following your blog for years and really love your writing, your projects, and photos. I also started following you on Instagram and love the photos you post. Now with the Instagram stories, I want to make a suggestion that I hope will be taken as constructive, if unsolicited, feedback. I suggest that if you are going to have an audio narrative in your stories, that it would be worth the effort to work with a vocal coach. If your narration rises to the level of your other skills, your career could explode with possibilities in other media.

  41. Many thanks for all the updates at once.

  42. Thank you for the catch up!!

    I remember you posting your first Insta stories about that one house, but then completely forgot about it and couldn’t figure out where it fit with your other projects (apparently, piled up on top was the answer!) LOVING the current porch insta stories. It’s such an easy, no pressure way for you to share and us to keep up with all your work. I was the nosy one who asked for an Insta story tour of your house – figured it was an easy way to get us caught up and off your back. Also b/c I’m dying (no pun intended) to know what happened with that front hall bathroom/tub sitch.

    I just bought my first house 3 weeks ago! 1928 bungalow with a Tudor-style stucco & brick exterior. It’s so friggin cute, but also SO much work. I’ve been to the hardware store almost every day since we got the keys. I was totally channeling you at my closing when I asked that they don’t get rid of the original window screens they had sitting out by the garage to get tossed. Plus I’m DEF painting all my radiators black, have become obsessed with honoring the time period in which the house was built, and always keeping an eye out for cute tchotchkes everywhere I go. I’m a female, St. Paul-based version of you now, is what I’m saying. So, thank you for creating a monster – my boyfriend loves it ;)

    As far as blog posts, personally, and looking at the other comments, we want it all, baby! Updates on your house, your yard, your pets, (your love life?? if we may, of course) Bluestone, Olivebridge, sexy Edwin & Edgar pics – we’ll take whatever you throw at us! And take your time – as long as this blog is here, I, and others, will keep coming back.

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